Numerous restaurants reside within close proximity to Bloom Crossing, including big name chains and local gems, such as Columbus Grill on Centreville Road. The local eatery specializes in Portuguese and Spanish menu items, ranging from flavorful caldo verde soup to bitoque strip steak topped with a fried egg. In addition to serving dinner items, including paella, tapas, tuna tartar, and beef and bacon roulade, Columbus Grill also features a Sunday brunch buffet with eggs, pancakes and waffles along with Portuguese cod and other house specialties. If you have room for dessert, try the drunken pears.
Bring your appetite with you to Bella Vita Restaurant on Liberia Avenue. In addition to generous portion sizes, Bella Vita serves up a variety of Italian specialties, including fluffy garlic Parmesan rolls, chicken carbonara, and salmon baked with crab and sausage. Stop in for happy hour on weekday evenings or Sundays from 11:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. for drink and food specials.
When it comes to nightlife, the scene near Bloom Crossing remains relatively tame, but you have several hot spots from which to choose. The Park Tap Room features a substantial rotating tap roundup. Pub food favorites, such as fried mac and cheese and Maryland crab dip, are among the local favorites. Be sure to check out the event schedule for occasional live music.
Let the good times roll with a trip to Okra's Louisiana Bistro, located on Center Street. In addition to hosting live music nearly every weekend, this New Orleans-themed bistro serves some of the best Cajun cuisine in the region. While jamming out to the band, nibble on some zesty alligator bites. While there, sip an ice-cold Mardi Gras bock, Purple Haze or an Abbey Ale.
Bloom Crossing lacks the rich history enjoyed by most of the surrounding area. While the city of Manassas incorporated in 1873 and later became the Prince William County seat, Manassas Park didn’t become its own city until 1955. Construction on Bloom Crossing began in 1993.
Construction completed in 2002 on this community of more than 900 homes,
which includes single-family homes and town homes. Regular events, such as cleaning days, a community yard sale and a literacy run, foster a strong community spirit.
Nearby historic sites include Manassas National Battlefield Park, where the infamous Battle of Bull Run took place during the Civil War. Camp Carondelet, a Civil War encampment with numerous walking trails, spans 8 acres near Cougar Elementary School.
Commuters have several public transportation options in the area, which include catching the train from the Virginia Railway Express station on Manassas Drive in Manassas Park. The Manassas Line connects Bloom Crossing residents with stops at Union Station, Crystal City, Alexandria, Broad Run Airport, Burke Centre and L'Enfant. Additionally, the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission provides local and commuter bus service through OmniRide. Local stops include Manassas Shopping Center, Maplewood Shopping Center and Manassas Mall, while commuter service runs from Manassas Mall to stops such as the Pentagon and downtown D.C.
Additionally, Bloom Crossing’s proximity to nearby roadways such as I-66, Route 29, Route 28 and Prince William Parkway enables residents to get around the area in relative convenience. These roadways connect residents to Centreville, Fairfax, Arlington and Washington, D.C. As with most areas around the capital, expect the commute to last at least twice as long during rush hour.
On a nice day, locals often walk or bike in the community, or they make use of the multi-purpose trail that runs along Prince William Parkway. However, when it comes to getting to work, most people drive. Parking in the neighborhood never presents a problem thanks to ample on- and off-street parking.
Life in Bloom Crossing generally carries a lower cost of living than the rest of the D.C. metropolitan area. However, this doesn’t translate to a lower quality of life. Renting a one-bedroom
apartment costs an average of $1,135.91. Grabbing a beer at the local bar typically sets you back by approximately $4.50, but you can expect prices as low as $2.50 during happy hour.
Gas prices tend to hover 2 to 3 percent below the national average. In general, gas prices tend to be even lower along Liberia Avenue and near Manassas Mall. Taking public transportation also remains an affordable option. One-way bus fare on OmniRide costs $3 to $7.70, while one-way fare on the Virginia Railway express costs $3.15 to $9.10, depending on your destination.
Just outside of the Bloom Crossing community, locals find several shopping centers and a variety of car dealers and furniture stores.
Several specialty stores also reside nearby, including Carousel Consignments, which feels more like a high-end boutique than a consignment shop. When you need a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry or unique home furnishings, this is one of the first spots to check.
If you need something to wear to your next cocktail party or wedding, check out the selection of formal attire available at Social Butterfly, located in Old Town Manassas. The boutique carries a full line of formal wear from designers such as Sherri Hill, GiGi, Alyce, Faviana, Mac Duggal, Blush Prom, Tony Bowls and Riva. It also carries casual wear from designers such as Tribal, French Dressing Jeans, Nic + Zoe and Joseph Ribkoff.
For a special gift, stop in at The Things I Love, located just a couple miles from Blooms Crossing in Old Town Manassas. Publications such as Virginia Living and Southern Living have featured this charming shop, which has also received awards and honors for its one-of-a-kind merchandise. In addition to its unique home decor items, artwork, jewelry, accessories and gifts, The Things I Love also hosts events throughout the year, including gallery walks and sidewalk sales during spring and fall, an Easter egg hunt, holiday open house and more. Make a reservation for afternoon tea at the tearoom in the rear of the store. It has an intimate atmosphere and a menu of scones, tea sandwiches, fruit and clotted cream prepared by a professional chef.
Residents have convenient access to several nearby grocery stores, including High Up Food Mart, Aldi and Shoppers Food and Pharmacy. Foodie Euro Deli, in Parkhurst Plaza on Liberia Avenue, stocks its shelves with specialty items such as gourmet sausages, European caviar, smoked fish and more. The City of Manassas Farmer's Market, located less than 4 miles away on Center Street, has provided fresh produce and artisan goods to the region for more than two decades.
Enjoy the great outdoors at one of the community tot lots located on Hedgeford Street and Silver Meteor Court. Practice your skills on your skateboard or roller blades at Old Town Skate Park on Prince William Street. Devoted entirely to skaters, this free community park has daylight hours and benches.
When you need a little more action, take a quick drive to Bull Run Regional Park, which welcomes leashed pets
on its trails and waives any admission fees for residents living in the area. This regional park features spacious fields and miles of hiking and horseback riding trails. It also has a playground for children and the Atlantis Waterpark, a fee-based park with slides, a dumping bucket, waterfalls, a water playground and a swimming pool. The park's events center hosts annual wine and beer festivals, a Christmas light show and other events.